The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Senator Adeleke Mamora has expressed shock at the state of equipment and facilities at the Onitsha River Port.
He said this on Monday during a facility tour of the port.
Mamora specifically expressed concern over the state of the equipment and infrastructure at the river port, he however expressed optimism that if revamped, the port would boost the economy of the area.
The NIWA MD restated Federal Government’s commitment towards ensuring that the Onitsha Inland Waterways and others across the country are viable and functional.
Mamora, who described the NIWA office in Onitsha as “an economically significant area office”, said the Federal Government was determined to commence operation at the Onitsha River Port.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to make Onitsha River Port work with the ongoing efforts to concession the facility.
“We want to decongest Lagos because it is over-burdened as out of 100 per cent of goods that land in Lagos, only about 20 per cent stay in Lagos.
“About 80 per cent of those goods come to Onitsha from where they are distributed to other parts of the country.
“NIWA Onitsha is the most lucrative Area Office we have. I have visited Port Harcourt, Calabar and Lagos, and all of those offices have what Onitsha has in terms of equipment, manpower and availability of land for expansion,” he said.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that since it completion, every efforts to concession the Onitsha port have failed.
The latest efforts to concession it has also hit the rocks with different companies claiming to have win the bid. Although NIWA, said it has concluded the exercise since July, it has not been able to communicate to the winner of the bidding exercise.
But, the Area Manager, NIWA Onitsha, Mrs Uche Amadi, stressed the need for Public, Private Partnership to revive the port and boost economic activities in the area.
According to her, the area office has so far generated over N46 million as revenue as at October 31.
“A public, private partnership arrangement will boost and diversify the revenue base of the Area office,” she stressed, while appealing to the Federal Government for operational vehicles and necessities to ease the work.